[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Taunton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-2-2009 (Ch. 16, Art. I, of the 2010 Code)]
Pursuant to the City of Taunton's adoption of MGL c. 43D, Expedited Permitting, the City of Taunton adopts the regulations and procedures outlined in this article. An applicant for a project located within the Priority Development Site Overlay District may seek expedited review and approval in accordance with the requirements of this article. In such case, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained elsewhere that pertains to time frames for action by any municipal board or commission, review will be taken and completed within the time frame set forth herein.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- INTERAGENCY PERMITTING BOARD
- The state body, as described in MGL c. 23A, § 62, established to review and approve or deny municipal priority development site proposals and to grant and administer technical assistance grants.
- ISSUING AUTHORITY
- Any local board, commission, department, or other municipal entity of the City of Taunton that is responsible for issuing permits or granting approvals or otherwise involved in land use development, including redevelopment of existing buildings and structures.
- A permit, formal determination, order of conditions, license, certificate, authorization, registration, plan approval, zoning relief or other approval or determination with respect to the use or development of land, buildings, or structures required by any issuing authority, including but not limited to those under statutory authorities contained in MGL c. 40A; MGL c. 41, §§ 81A to 81J, inclusive; MGL c. 41, §§ 81X to 81GG, inclusive; MGL c. 131, §§ 40 and 40A; MGL c. 111, §§ 26 to 32, inclusive; MGL c. 40C; MGL c. 148, §§ 13 and 14; Chapter 772 of the Acts of 1975, or otherwise under state law or Taunton ordinance, and all associated regulations, ordinances and rules, but not including building permits or approvals pursuant to MGL c. 41, §§ 81O to 81W, inclusive. "Permit" shall not include the decision of an agency to dispose of property under its management or control or predevelopment reviews conducted by municipal offices.
Establishment. The Chapter 43D Priority Development Site Overlay District (PDSOD) is an overlay district identified as land identified as Phase 4 of the Myles Standish Industrial Park and Phase 3 of the Liberty and Union Industrial Park.
Underlying zoning. The PDSOD constitutes an overlay district superimposed on all applicable underlying and other overlaying zoning districts. Except as from time to time may be limited by amendment hereto, the underlying and other overlaying zoning, and all requirements and procedures pertaining thereto that are not inconsistent with the following, shall remain in full force and effect.
There shall be established an Expedited Permitting Board (the Board). Said Board shall be chaired by the Director of Planning and Conservation who shall also serve as the single point of contact as required per 400 CMR 2.00, Expedited Permitting, the Chapter 43D regulations. The membership of the Board shall also include the Fire Chief or designee, City Clerk or designee, Department of Public Works Commissioner or designee, Board of Health Director or designee, Conservation Agent, and the Building Commissioner or designee.
The Board shall provide any applicant for a project located within the PDSOD with a comprehensive packet of permit applications necessary for the PDSOD project. In order to identify applicable permits for any project, the Board may conduct preliminary reviews or conferences with the applicant. Once the applicant has submitted an application packet, the Board shall have 20 business days from the date of submission of the application to determine completeness of the application packet. The Board shall timely notice the applicant by certified mail as to the completeness of the application packet. If the Board fails to give such notice to the applicant within 20 business days, the application shall be deemed to be complete. The one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period described below shall commence the day after notice is mailed or at the expiration of the twenty-business-day period in cases where the Board fails to give such notice within said 20 business days.
Should the Board determine that an application is incomplete, the Board shall timely notify the applicant in writing by certified mail with an explanation as to why the application packet is incomplete and request the information necessary to complete the application. The resubmission of an application packet will begin a new twenty-business-day completeness review period. Subsequent completeness decisions must be sent by certified mail and conform to the process outlined in Subsection A above.
The Board, in coordination with all issuing authorities of the City, must complete the local permitting process within 180 calendar days after the certified notice of completeness is sent or the twenty-day completeness review period has expired and the application is deemed to be complete. This period may be waived or extended for good cause upon written request of the applicant with the consent of the Board, or upon written request of the Board with the consent of the applicant.
The one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period may be extended by the Board for a maximum period of 30 days if a previously unidentified permit or review has been determined necessary within the first 150 calendar days of the process. When the Board determines that a previously unidentified permit is necessary, it shall send immediate notice of such additional requirements to the applicant by certified mail and send a copy of such notice to the Interagency Permitting Board. Where public notice and comment or hearing are required for the previously unidentified permit, the required action date shall be not later than 30 days from the later of the close of the hearing or comment period, which shall be scheduled to commence as quickly as publication allows.
The one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period may also be extended when any City issuing authority determines that action by another federal, state, or municipal government agency not subject to this article is required before the issuing authority may act; pending judicial proceedings affect the ability of the issuing authority or applicant to proceed with the application; or enforcement proceedings that could result in revocation of an existing permit for that facility or activity or denial of the application have been commenced. In those circumstances, the issuing authority shall provide written notification to the Secretary and the Interagency Permitting Board by certified mail. When the reason for the extension is no longer applicable, the issuing authority shall immediately notify the applicant, the Secretary, and the Interagency Permitting Board by certified mail and shall complete its decision within the time period specified in this article, beginning the day after the notice to resume is issued by the Board.
If the Board, in consultation with any issuing authority, determines that substantial modifications to the project since the application was determined to be complete pursuant to this article render an issuing authority incapable of making a decision on an application, an extension of the one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period may be granted by the Interagency Permitting Board for demonstrated good cause at the written request of the issuing authority. The issuing authority shall provide terms for the extension, including the number of additional days requested. Within 10 business days of receipt of the request, the Interagency Permitting Board, or its designee, shall respond to the issuing authority with an extension determination.
If the applicant makes a substantial modification to a project for the purpose of public benefit, the issuing authority may request an extension from the Interagency Permitting Board and, if granted, shall make every reasonable effort to expedite the processing of that permit application.
All issuing authorities shall make every reasonable effort to review permit modification requests within as short a time period as is feasible to maintain the integrity of the expedited permitting process. The applicable issuing authority shall inform an applicant within 20 business days of receipt of a request whether the modification is approved, denied, determined to be substantial, or requires additional information for the issuing authority to issue a decision. If additional information is required, the issuing authority shall inform an applicant by certified mail within 20 business days after receipt of the required additional information whether the modification is approved, denied or that further additional information is required by the issuing authority in order to render a decision.
Failure by any issuing authority to take final action on a permit within the one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period, or properly extended review period, shall be considered a grant of the relief requested of that authority. In such case, within 14 days after the date of expiration of the time period, the applicant shall file an affidavit with the City Clerk, attaching the application, setting forth the facts giving rise to the grant and stating that notice of the grant has been mailed, by certified mail, to all parties to the proceedings as defined by 400 CMR 2.03 and all persons entitled to notice of hearing in connection with the application as defined by 400 CMR 2.03.
No issuing authority may use lack of time for review as a basis for denial of a permit if the applicant has provided a complete application and has met all other obligations in accordance with this article.
Notwithstanding the aforesaid, an automatic grant of approval shall not occur:
When the Board has made a timely determination that the application packet is not complete and the applicant does not provide the requested information within 90 calendar days. In such case, the Board shall notify the Interagency Permitting Board of the discontinuance of the permit process.
When the Board, in consultation with an issuing authority, has determined that substantial modifications to the project since the application was determined to be complete render the issuing authority incapable of making a decision on an application, except if the issuing authority fails to render a decision on an application within the time period of an extension granted by the Interagency Permitting Board on account of a substantial modification to the project.
When the Board has determined that a final application contains false or misleading information. In such event, the Board must submit a statement of findings to the Interagency Permitting Board by certified mail with a copy to the applicant by certified mail. Pursuant to 400 CMR 2.11(5), such a finding may be appealed to the Land Court on a motion of the applicant. Pending the Court's ruling, the one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period shall be tolled. If the Court rules in favor of the applicant, the one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period shall resume. If the Court rules in favor of the City, the one-hundred-eighty-calendar-day review period shall be waived.
Appeals of any issuing authority decision or of an automatic grant of approval shall be filed within 20 calendar days after the last individual permitting decision has been rendered or within 20 calendar days after the conclusion of the one-hundred-eighty-day period, whichever is later. The one-hundred-eighty-day period shall be increased by the number of days in any extension granted hereunder.
Permits shall not automatically transfer to successors in title, unless the permit expressly allows such transfer without the approval of the appropriate issuing authority. Issuing authorities may develop procedures for simplified permit renewals and annual reporting requirements. If such procedures are not developed, renewals of permits shall be governed by the procedures and timelines specified in MGL c. 43D.
Permits issued hereto shall expire five years from the date of the expiration of the applicable appeal period unless exercised sooner. Where permits cover multiple buildings, commencement and continuation of construction of one building shall prevent expiration of all permits on that site. No permit issued hereunder shall be affected by changes in the law subsequent to the issuance of such permits. Additionally, nothing in this article shall limit the effectiveness of MGL c. 40A, § 6.